The aim of this NIHR programme was to study the patterns and aetiology of childhood obesity in a multi-ethnic population and to use this evidence to develop a tailored prevention intervention. The design and development of effective interventions requires a robust empirical evidence base in order to identify the right targets (modifiable behaviours) for preventing obesity and the right timing (in growth trajectory) for implementing the intervention. We set out to measure and analyse data on growth trajectories in a multi-ethnic population alongside assessment of hypothesised modifiable environmental and behavioural risk factors for obesity. Our intention was to determine whether the relative impact of any modifiable risk factor differs between South Asian and European origin populations and to assess whether mechanisms for change differ between communities.
- To recruit a sub-sample of the Born in Bradford cohort for intensive follow-up to collect data on modifiable risk factors and growth and to establish research-calibre routine data collection on growth monitoring in a deprived multi ethnic community.
- To describe ethnic differences in risk factors for childhood obesity and to identify modifiable behaviours and environmental risk factors to target in future interventions
- To undertake a systematic review of the evidence of effectiveness of obesity prevention interventions in pregnant women and/or children of South Asian origin, up to the age of 5 years. You can download a copy of the systematic review here and the appendices here.
- To explore determinants of, and cultural differences in, feeding practices; influence of key stakeholders; beliefs, attitudes and practices in relation to obesity, diet and exercise; perceptions in the South Asian community about childhood obesity; access to food retrailing; and eating patterns.
- To design a theory-based innovative community/family-based intervention (Healthy and Active Parenting Programme in Early Years – HAPPY) to improve modifiable behaviours in both parent and child to prevent childhood obesity.
- To undertake a pilot trial of HAPPY to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention; eligibility, consent and recruitment rates; acceptability of randomisation process and measurement tools; and follow up rates.